Pingree, Golden Urge at least $3.5B in Additional Relief for Fishermen
WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to provide new relief for Maine’s fisheries and fishermen in a bipartisan letter today.Pingree and Golden urged the House leaders to include in upcoming relief legislation at least $2 billion to purchase seafood and distribute it to local governments and nonprofit organizations, as well as an additional $1.5 billion in direct assistance to the fishing industry, building on the $300 million that was already secured in theCARES Act.
“Our seafood processors and fishermen have been dealt a significant economic blow as a result of coronavirus and are in desperate need of federal assistance...” the Members of Congress wrote. “Due to efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has led to a near total shutdown of restaurants and other outlets serving fresh seafood, the supply chain of fishermen and seafood processors has been decimated.”
“We strongly urge you to include in the next coronavirus stimulus package at least $2 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase domestically harvested and processed seafood products and distribute them to local, state, and national non-profits providing food to hungry Americans.”
Pingree and Golden joined a bipartisan group of 47 Members of Congress from coastal communities to send the letter.
Pingree and Golden have worked to support Maine fishermen and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with Maine’s senators, they helped secure $300 million for fisheries as a part of the CARES Act in March; it was announced today that $20 million of that funding would be going to Maine.
In April, Pingree and Golden also joined Sen. Angus King to call on the Department of Commerce to quickly release urgently needed CARES Act funds to fisheremen to protect their businesses and communities.
You can read the full text of today’s letter here.